Well, we’ve turned the page! It is 2016! A brand new year! Where ya’ goin’? Are you making your plans about what this year will look like and setting your compass? Are you making changes? Resolutions for a better life? A better you?
My destination is Higher Ground! I am going up! I want to live in that place of “…on earth, as it is in heaven!” I have found a key and going to use it! Since I can’t explain it as well as author Ann Voskamp in her book “One Thousand Gifts, a Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are,” I am recommending her book to everyone I meet! Finally, after decades of being a Christian, filled with the Holy Ghost, and serving Jesus the best I knew how, but knowing that “something was missing” from my walk, I am discovering what it is! The Thankful Heart!
Oh, I wish that sounded a little more earth shaking! Action packed! Because the reality is that it has shaken me, and caused me to act! Let me explain. I have always been a “Martha” Christian. Busy work horse, go getter, grab-it-and- growl-gotta’-please Him kind of Christian. Shine; serve; work. It can happen in ministry! Kind of exhausting. So this year I feel the Lord calling me to sit at His feet like Mary and learn something new: How to be thankful.
When it really came down to it, I was horrified that I could not think of things for which I was truly thankful! My mind was blank. My heart felt like a stone! Oh, I know the list of obvious things: family, friends, church, provision. But to be honest, my heart didn’t swell with gratitude or appreciation when I named those things, like I thought it should. So with fear and trepidation I picked up my pen and started my list of “One Thousand Gifts.” A thousand? Really, Lord?
So, as I sat quietly before the Lord that table grace began to play in my mind: “For these, Thy gifts, we are about to receive, make us truly grateful. Amen” Then, I saw, heard, and felt: Sunshine through windows. If you know the Craigs well, you know that my husband likes to keep the curtains closed because he feels it keeps the electric bill lower. So we don’t always have a lot of sunshine streaming through our windows, but I realized that I DO love it so.
So, I went to the kitchen to open the blinds and let the sunshine stream in! Uh…not so much, through those grimy sliders and windows! Then it hit me! Even though I love clean windows with sunshine streaming in…I had neglected this gift. I hadn’t expressed, “Thank You, Lord!” by keeping them clean & sparkly so that I could enjoy my gift of the Florida sunshine streaming into my house! And as I began to name other gifts that I love, I realized that they showed signs of my neglect, too. Sigh… “Truly thankful?” “Truly…?”
So this gratitude, this thankfulness, is not just an attitude, or way of thinking. It is a way of living, much different from what I am used to. Showing my gratitude to Him. Worshipping Him in my gratitude This is not Martha kind of work…this is worship! It is going to be a life on Higher Ground! Who knew that washing windows could be an act of worship? Thank You, so much, Jesus for loving me enough to teach me how to live for You!
Let’s pray: Lord, Thank you for this great Salvation. For redeeming us from the curse of this world. Lift us up; make us better; draw us closer to you. Make us to know that in You is all that we need for the life and godliness You have called us to on earth. A life that is preparing us for life in heaven! You are coming soon and we want to be able to step into heaven, having experienced it on earth. In Jesus’ name,
P.S. After I prayed the prayer about making me truly thankful, the flood of gifts has overtaken me. I can’t name them fast enough to write them all down. “One Thousand Gifts?” I might just make it!